Pakistan drop Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz for South Africa T20Is
Star players Fakhar Zaman and Wahab Riaz have been dropped from the Pakistan squad for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa. In a surprising move, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also left out several top names including Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim from the 20-member squad. Instead, the Mohammad Akram-led selection panel has named four uncapped players for the series.
Here is Pakistan's 20-member squad for the impending T20I series against South Africa. Babar Azam, Aamer Yamin, Amad Butt, Asif Ali, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Qadir, Zafar Gohar, Zahid Mehmood
As mentioned, Pakistan have also included four uncapped players to bolster the bench strength. These players are - left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar, bowling all-rounder Amad Butt, all-rounder Danish Aziz and leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood.
Pakistan had last played a T20I series in New Zealand, which they lost 1-2. Notably, Shadab led the side in the absence of regular skipper Babar Azam. Hafeez, who has been dropped, emerged as Pakistan's highest run-scorer in the series with 140 runs at 70.00. Meanwhile, fast bowler Wahab Riaz is presently playing the Abu Dhabi T10 league.
Hafeez finished 2020 as the leading run-scorer in T20Is. He amassed 415 runs from 10 T20Is at 83.00, including a strike-rate of over 150 (152.57). The likes of KL Rahul (404) and Dawid Malan (397) followed Hafeez on the list.
Prior to the T20I series, the two teams will clash in the second Test, starting February 4. Thereafter, the three T20Is will be played on February 11, 13 and 14 at the Gaddafi Stadium. Notably, the squads along with the officials will enter the bio-secure bubble on February 3. Meanwhile, those who are a part of the second Test will join after its conclusion.